Tiger bats come alive in doubleheader sweep

Hays Daily News
FHSU's Grant Schmidt rounds first base during a game earlier this season.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Fort Hays State baseball team took both games of a Friday doubleheader at Missouri Western. The Tigers never trailed in a 12-4 win in game one before rattling off 21 hits in a 13-5 win in game two, their most hits in a single game in more than eight years.

The Tigers moved to 4-20 overall and 4-16 in MIAA play with the sweep, while the Griffons dipped to 8-18 on the year and 6-14 in conference competition. Fort Hays State will look to wrap up the series sweep with a win in game three, set for 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon (April 10).

Game 1 - Fort Hays State 12, Missouri Western 4

Fort Hays State opened the weekend with a solid all-around performance in game one. The Tigers never trailed while tallying 12 hits, committing zero errors and allowing just four Griffon runs.

After neither side collected a base hit in the first, Fort Hays State got on the board with a run in the second. Grant Schmidt led off with a single before moving up on a pair of groundouts. Traelon Yarbrough came through with a two-out RBI single back up the middle, plating Schmidt and giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

The Tigers tacked on four runs on a Garrett Stephens grand slam in the third inning, the catcher's fifth home run of the season.

Missouri Western responded with one run in the bottom of the third before Fort Hays State added two more in the fourth on a Kade Wallace double. The Tigers added another run in the fifth when Yarbrough opened a two-out rally with an infield single. Griffin Brunson followed two batters later with a single through the left side, plating Yarbrough and stretching the Tiger lead to 8-3.

After allowing a home run in the bottom of the fourth, starting pitcher Jake Campbell (3-3) retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced. The righty finished the game with a line of eight innings pitched, four runs, six hits, three walks and five strikeouts.

The Tigers pushed across four insurance runs in the top of the ninth after loading the bases with just one out. Brunson came through with an RBI single before three runs came in on a pair of Griffon throwing errors, giving the Tigers a 12-4 advantage.

Jacob Ensz came in to toss the ninth, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out two batters and getting out of the jam with a ground ball to first.

Drake Angeron, Stephens, Yarbrough and Brunson all collected two hits in the win, with Stephens driving in a team-high four RBI.

Game 2 - Fort Hays State 13, Missouri Western 5

The Tigers kept things rolling on offense in game two, erupting for 21 hits and 13 runs to complete the doubleheader sweep. Jacob Bouzide was 6-for-6 with two RBI, three runs and a home run, the most hits in a single game for a Tiger since 2005 (Dallas Christison at Colorado Mines, 5/8/05).

Padraic Walsh (1-0) was effective on the mound in his second start of the season, surrendering five runs while scattering seven hits and three walks alongside two strikeouts over 6.2 innings on the bump. Jake Steinbring allowed just one hit over the final 2.1 innings of work.

The Tigers took an early lead with one run in the first when Grant Schmidt singled home Bouzide. Missouri Western tied things up in the bottom of the first before taking its first lead of the day with three runs in the home half of the sixth.

Fort Hays State had baserunners in each of the next three innings, but couldn't push across any runs until the fifth inning. Drake Angeron led off with a single before Jacob Bouzide drilled his second home run of the season, narrowing the deficit to 4-3. Jacob Pryor gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead with a two-RBI single later in the inning, plating Stephens and Schmidt.

Missouri Western tied things up at 5-5 in the fifth before FHSU went on top for good with six runs in the sixth. Kade Wallace opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly before Stephens reached on a two-out error, scoring an unearned run. Pryor followed with an RBI single to right before Traelon Yarbrough drove in a pair with a single up the middle. Ed Scott capped off the inning with a base knock to right, plating Yarbrough and giving the Tigers an 11-5 lead.

Pryor added two more RBI with is first home run as a Tiger in the top of the eighth, plating Schmidt and pushing the FHSU lead to 13-5.

All nine Tiger starters collected at least one hit, with seven scoring at least one run. Pryor finished game two 4-for-5 with a team-high four RBI and two runs.